In Montessori and Reggio-Emilia inspired schools, the planned environment of the classroom is often described as the "third teacher." The classroom itself can pose questions to the children, suggest what the appropriate rules for behavior might be, or even inspire a new way to play.
In Forest School, The Environment is the teacher. As we move through our gardens and forests, we learn about the biology of the plants and animals we see, the physics of jumping across a stream or dropping sticks from a ledge, and the ecology of living as a piece of a much larger puzzle, however far removed from this truth modernity may make us feel.
At Sprout and Spark, we believe that unstructured play in nature helps to build confidence, patience, and a healthy relationship with risk. We play outside every day, rain or shine, and encourage our students to wonder about the world around them. Our school is situated in a grove of mature cedars and firs and is home to a wide variety of native plants, birds, and bugs. We believe that respect for nature can be cultivated by allowing children the space to find moments of joy at play in nature.
Our school is also home to a small vegetable garden and a flock of chickens. Children who are interested are invited to help tend the gardens and care for the animals. The produce that we grow on site is used to supplement our family-style meals.
By synthesizing the philosophies of Montessori, Reggio-Emilia, and Forest School, we hope to provide our students with a well-rounded curriculum that will help them reach their full potential. To see what a typical day at Sprout and Spark is like, follow the link below.